Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Libya Before and After the "Treatment"

These pictures speak for themselves.

The first is of Libya under Gaddafi, the second is of Libya under "democracy".

Libya under Gaddafi, Libya under democracy

H/t Alessandra Nucci

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Islamic Hatred and Persecution of Christians Is Imported into European Refugee Centres

Christians persecuted by Muslims in Islamic countries who think they are escaping their fate by fleeing discover that the same treatment awaits them in Europe, which after all has simply imported Islam's barbarism by opening its doors to large numbers of Muslims.

The German daily newspaper Die Welt reports on the terrible exclusion and violence suffered by Christian refugees at the hands of Muslims in Germany's asylum centres.

Germany is the second country in the world, after the US, for number of asylum applications received, with 13% of them last year, and the first in Europe, with 23.2% last year.

The report starts with some figures:
In Iraq, there are currently 30,000 Christians fleeing. But these are only those who are currently in the main news. Worldwide suffering estimate by humanitarian organisation Open Doors is around 100 million Christians under persecution. The organisation World Watch List 2014 has particularly strict Islamic countries - such as Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan - among the ten states with the worst persecution of Christians.
An example of the discrimination suffered in German reception centres for refugees is what happened to Leyla S, an Iranian whose Christian faith compelled her to flee to Germany about three years ago with her husband and daughter.

The woman related to Die Welt her experience in the reception centre in Hessen, where about 20 of the approximately 100 other refugees cursed the family from the beginning again and again as “infidels” and “dirty dogs” and banned Leyla from the two kitchens.

"For two years", she says, "we always had to cook in our room. Once I tried to go in the communal kitchen, but the Muslim refugees from Afghanistan housed in the centre immediately chased us away, claiming that our presence rendered the food impure.

"Why then are these people coming to Germany, home to millions of Christians, who for them are unclean, although not their money?"

Die Welt also exposes the wall of silence of the authorities. In the refugee camps of Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse, those responsible say that there are no cases of discrimination, while in reality they happen under the roofs of the refugee camps. The incidents take place in silence, hidden from the police.

Max Klingberg of the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR), an organisation that for 14 years has been working with refugees, explains that attacks against Christians are far from isolatd cases and that all Christians and Christian converts arriving in Germany are victims of harassment, threats, pressure.

And psychological violence sometimes leads to physical violence. In the case of an Iranian Christian convert, a woman, Muslim men urinated on her clothes and other personal effects to humiliate her.

The situation is so bad that in Bavaria, in order to stop the violence, separate accommodation for different religious groups of refugees has been requested.

Since the moment of his arrival at the reception centre Ramin, an Afghan refugee who converted to Christianity, has been threatened by three Muslim countrymen with whom he shared the room. He recounts: "They said that I belonged to the Dar al-Harb [house of war, as Islam calls all the part of the world which is non-Muslim] and not the Dar al-Islam [house of Islam]." For the three Afghan Muslims, Ramin deserved death as an infidel and apostate.

The man tells of various attacks, including one that led very close to his death: "We were in the room when my three roommates beat me in the kidneys with the remote. When I managed to wriggle out, one of them went into the kitchen and took a knife. I then attempted to flee in another room, but another had blocked the door with his foot. At that moment I was shaking, I turned to Jesus asking Him to save me. Then one of the men pointed the knife to my chest, saying that it would be impossible for me to stay alive for much longer. Fortunately, the other two reminded the man that he had to suspend for the time being his revenge, since he had yet to complete his application for political asylum."

In line with the constant denial of Muslim supremacism and Islamic persecution of Christians, authorities more often than not don't deal with these cases of hatred. An Iranian 19-year-old Christian tried to escape his Mohammedan tormentors by asking for a transfer to another city. The local council refused the application on the grounds that the dispute had nothing to do with religion but was purely personal.

Peter Ulrich, director of a free school for asylum seekers managed by the Evangelical Free Church, says that Christians are much closer to European culture and far better capable of integration than Muslims. No surprise here.

"In my work as a teacher of German language" he adds, "I have observed that many refugees from Syria, Iraq and Iran seek asylum precisely because of religious persecution. They are disappointed and irritated by how often their problem is not taken seriously by the authorities of our country, from which they instead expect understanding and support."

The solution is pretty simple not just for Germany but for all of Europe: give asylum to Christians, deny it to Muslims.

Friday, 15 August 2014

What's the Alternative to the Left's Program?

A homosexual couple gets married in Brighton, UK

Published on American Thinker

By Enza Ferreri

I was reading the blog of Daniel Greenfield, undoubtedly a great writer and an acute analyst of what is wrong in today's world.

But, the more I was reading, the more I felt a sense of dissatisfaction, as you may have when drinking doesn't quench your thirst but paradoxically increases it.

Then I discovered what it was. There was something missing: a conclusion.

We - the counterjihadists, the "Islamophobes", the conservatives, the "Right wing" - have many excellent thinkers and commentators (of whom Greenfield is an example) who are good in the pars destruens, the critical, negative part, of our arguments; but not enough who develop a pars construens, the constructive part that builds the positive alternative to what we are criticising.

This dearth of a firm propositive aspect in our positions is common to all Western countries.

The reason, I dare say, is simple. There is among us a widespread fear or unease in proposing a kind of society espousing ideas and values (some of which from the past) that have been ruthlessly, thoroughly mauled and massacred by the Left.

We are, probably without realising, the first victims of Leftist indoctrination. We may reject those ideas rationally, but deep down, emotionally, we have doubts. The Left’s are the views we grew up with, they permeated our culture, were ideologically dominant when we were teenagers and young adults. Our favourite bands endorsed them and were selling them with their records and their lives: sex, drugs and rock'n'roll.

At university, both professors and students were full of them; who thought differently was a pariah.

The most fashionable authors were Marxists of various kinds, from Freudian Marxists to the Frankfurt School.

It would be totally unrealistic to think that an individual can go through all that brainwashing, peer pressure and gentle persuasion by his pop idols without taking with him a persistent scar, a lifelong influence on his mind.

So, when we slowly - it took a very long, long time - realised that those ideas (that for want of a better word I'll shorthandedly call "Leftist") were simply wrong, that they didn't correspond to reality - didn't "save the phenomena" as an obscure scientist named Sir Isaac Newton, among others, put it - and their acceptance and practical application were destroying both individuals and societies, we found our voice in denouncing them and their manfestations.

What we didn't find in equal measure was the audacity, the resolve to recover and re-propose the beliefs and principles that preceded the Leftist ones, and which the Left with its atheism and political correctness had demolished in our eyes.

No matter how much the world around us - in our surroundings, streets and urban ghettos as well as in faraway lands - was collapsing, there were words like "defending family values" or "sexual morality" or "not all religions are the same/religion can be a force for good" we just couldn't bring ourselves to utter.

We need to reclaim the convictions supplanted by Leftist barbarism. We mustn't be afraid to say that the alternative to Islam is Christianity, the answer to sexual relativism, pansexualism, radical feminism and homosexualism is in the Judaeo-Christian civilisation, and that the West can survive only if it reasserts its identity as Christendom.

This is the constructive, propositive part that at the moment is largely missing from the anti-jihad and conservative public discourse.

It's not enough to correctly identify what's wrong. If we don't have a positive recipe on how to fix it, we'll lose to those who have a proposal, however abysmal.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Is the Pope Suggesting the Use of Force in Iraq?

Iraqi Christian

The Vatican has found its voice.

Pope Francis wrote a letter to Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General, asking him to "do everything you can to stop the violence against Christians in Iraq". The letter, received by Ban Ki-Moon on 13 August, is the latest of the Pope’s interventions to stop the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq.

He writes:
It is with a heavy and anguished heart that I have been following the dramatic events of these past few days in Northern Iraq where Christians and other religious minorities have been forced to flee from their homes and witness the destruction of their places of worship and religious patrimony. Moved by their plight, I have asked His Eminence Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, who served as the Representative of my predecessors, Pope St John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, to the people in Iraq, to manifest my spiritual closeness and to express my concern, and that of the entire Catholic Church, for the intolerable suffering of those who only wish to live in peace, harmony and freedom in the land of their forefathers.

In the same spirit, I write to you, Mr Secretary-General, and place before you the tears, the suffering and the heartfelt cries of despair of Christians and other religious minorities of the beloved land of Iraq. In renewing my urgent appeal to the international community to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway, I encourage all the competent organs of the United Nations, in particular those responsible for security, peace, humanitarian law and assistance to refugees, to continue their efforts in accordance with the Preamble and relevant Articles of the United Nations Charter.

The violent attacks that are sweeping across Northern Iraq cannot but awaken the consciences of all men and women of goodwill to concrete acts of solidarity by protecting those affected or threatened by violence and assuring the necessary and urgent assistance for the many displaced people as well as their safe return to their cities and their homes. The tragic experiences of the Twentieth Century, and the most basic understanding of human dignity, compels the international community, particularly through the norms and mechanisms of international law, to do all that it can to stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities.

Confident that my appeal, which I unite with those of the Oriental Patriarchs and other religious leaders, will meet with a positive reply, I take this opportunity to renew to your Excellency the assurances of my highest consideration.

From the Vatican, 9 August 2014

In an interview with the Vatican Radio, Monsignor Silvano Maria Tomasi, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva, appears to interpret the Holy Father's letter as an invitation to the UN to act even by recourse to force. He said:
What impressed me is the phrase saying that the situation is so tragic that it "compels" the international community to act. In fact, if we look at the Charter of the United Nations, we see, very clearly, that Article 42 says that the international community has the responsibility to protect even by force - which cannot be done by the local state, local authorities, who for various reasons are prevented to act or do not have the opportunity to do so, after you have tried all the ways of the law, dialogue, negotiation - to avoid evils like those seen in Northern Iraq in these days.

But it is clear that "by force" is the ultimate solution, the final step...

[T]his is not a defence of Christians and other religious minorities, merely in an action of direct support to Christians: here we are dealing with human beings whose fundamental rights are trampled upon and for whom the local authorities cannot intervene. Therefore, the duty of the international community is to protect them. The problem is not, in simple words, a Church problem, it is a problem of humanity, of the human family.

Second, we must find ways to limit, to try to block the fact that weapons, financial aid and politicians continue to get into the hands of the representatives of this elusive state of the Caliphate, which so far has just been an excuse to create violence and kill those who are in disagreement with the leaders of this new entity. [Emphasis added]
Monsignor Tomasi recalled the situation years ago in Rwanda, similar to today's Iraq, saying that genocide was not prevented due to not having acted decisively.

Also speaking to Radio Vaticana was Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, President of the Italian Episcopal Conference. He said that the Vatican will help Iraqi refugees to find homes. He announced the Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Christians, tomorrow 15 August, the major feast Day of the Assumption.

Today, on the eve of the Assumption Day, the Archbishop of Ferrara Luigi Negri displayed on the facade of the Archbishop's Palace the ن symbol of Christians persecuted by jihadists in Iraq, with a message explaining the reasons.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Atheists and IRS Against the US Constitution

Russell George, treasury department inspector general for tax administration (left), and outgoing IRS head Steven Miller during a congressional hearing on improper treatment of conservative groups

The American tax authority, the IRS (Internal Revenue Service), will monitor churches for electioneering in a settlement reached on 18 July with an atheist group, the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF).

In 2012 the FFRF filed a lawsuit alleging that "the IRS routinely ignored complaints by the FFRF and others about churches promoting political candidates, issues, or proposed legislation. As part of their tax-exempt status, churches and other religious groups are prohibited from engaging in partisan political activity."

Monitoring what is said in houses of worship is a clear violation of the First Amendment, since no law can be written by Congress to this effect. The federal Constitution doesn't allow it.

As The American Vision points out,
Monitoring churches is something the Nazis did. When German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) used his pulpit to expose Adolf Hitler’s radical politics, “He knew every word spoken was reported by Nazi spies and secret agents.” [From Basil Miller, Martin Niemoeller: Hero of the Concentration Camp]

The First Amendment does not prohibit churches from speaking out on any issue, including political issues. The amendment is so clear that the people at the Freedom from Religion Foundation almost never cite it:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances...
Notice that the prohibition is directed at Congress, our nation’s national law-making body. It can’t establish a religion and it can’t prohibit the free exercise of religion. Period.

To prohibit a church from addressing politics for any reason is a violation of the First Amendment. Notice that the First Amendment gives everybody, churches included, the right to speak about religion, write about religion, congregate about religion, and “petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

The goal of an organization like the Freedom from Religion Foundation is to intimidate pastors and churches to remain silent. FRF [sic] knows that if conservative pastors began to address issues from a biblical perspective, it would mean the near end of liberal domination in America.

Former IRS Commissioner Mark Everson warned churches not to speak out on political issues. He claimed that churches that violate IRS regulations could lose their tax-exempt status and be forced to pay a ten percent excise tax on all donations. I would like to see the IRS try to defend the position in court based on the First Amendment. Constitutionally, it can’t be done. Of course this doesn’t mean that it won’t be done since the Constitution is a legal wax nose...

This so-called ban is a direct violation of the First Amendment. The First Amendment is clear that “Congress shall make no law. . . .” In 1954, Congress made a law prohibiting churches from speaking out on political issues and endorsing candidates. The logic is simple. Since Congress passed such a law, then Congress violated the Constitution. This makes the law null and void.
To have this law declared unconstitutional - and to once and for all remove the ability of the IRS to censor what a pastor says from the pulpit - is the goal of the Pulpit Initiative, created by Alliance Defending Freedom in 2008, focusing on freedom of religion issues in response to more than 50 years of threats and intimidation by militant groups.

On Freedom Pulpit Sundays, the last of which was held in June 2013 with the participation of over 1,100 churches, "pastors are encouraged to advise their congregations on political matters, such as marriage and abortion rights, and even endorse or oppose candidates." The next Pulpit Freedom Sunday will be on 5 October 2014.

It's a great act of resistance. Churches shouldn't be bullied.

This is not the first time that the IRS, which is supposed to be politically impartial, has targeted political rivals of the present administration: in the past these have been pro-life, pro-family and Tea-Party groups. A scandal relating to this bias broke in 2013, leading to the current congressional investigation of the IRS for improperly monitoring conservative groups, which has resulted in a moratorium on all IRS investigations. So, in practice, the IRS will not enforce the agreement with the FFRF on monitoring churches because of this moratorium, at least not until it's lifted.

According to Christian Century,
The Freedom from Religion Foundation is widely seen as the most litigious of the dozen or so national atheist advocacy groups. It claims to have brought 40 First Amendment lawsuits since 1977 and is currently involved in legal challenges to a Ten Commandments monument, graduation prayers and a Catholic shrine on public land.
Why shouldn't it? It seems to work, even to the point of going against the American Constitution to satisfy its agenda and still winning.

The American Vision concludes its denunciation thus:
One last thing. The purpose of Christian involvement in the political field is not to use the power of the State to impose a Taliban-style religious-political system on the nation but to decrease the power of the State at every level.
The separation between Church and state has largely the purpose of protecting the Church from the power of the state. It's ridiculous to think that it means that only Christians, clergy or laymen, of all the different groups that make up a society, should not be entitled to hold political views as Christians or to express them publicly.

Even more absurd is to believe that Church ministers can earn the right to speak of political issues to their flocks only by paying tax money to governments that will squander it and will make themselves greater and more powerful with it, of which type of government conduct the Obama administration provides many excellent examples.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Vatican Denounces Islamic Caliphate Crimes

The Vatican denounced the crimes of the Islamic Caliphate, with a strongly-worded Declaration by the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.

This is the text of the Declaration on the jihadist violence in Iraq, issued on 12 August 2014, translated from the Italian from the Vatican News website:
The whole world has witnessed in shock what is now called the "restoration of the Caliphate," which had been abolished on 29 October 1923 by Kamal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey. That this "restoration" is contested by the the majority of Muslim religious and political institutions has not prevented the "Islamic State" jihadists from committing and continuing to commit unspeakable criminal acts.

This Pontifical Council, all those engaged in interreligious dialogue, followers of all religions, as well as men and women of good will, can only unambiguously denounce and condemn these practices unworthy of man:
  • the massacre of people for the sole reason of their religious affiliation;
  • the despicable practice of beheading, crucifying and hanging bodies in public places;
  • the imposition on Christians and Yezidis of the choice among conversion to Islam, payment of a tax (jizya) or forced exile;
  • the forced expulsion of tens of thousands of people, including children, elderly, pregnant women and the sick;
  • the abduction of girls and women belonging to the Yezidi and Christian communities as spoils of war (sabaya);
  • the imposition of the barbaric practice of infibulation;
  • the destruction of Christian and Muslim places of worship and burial places;
  • the forced occupation or desecration of churches and monasteries;
  • the removal of crucifixes and other Christian religious symbols as well as those of other religious communities;
  • the destruction of a priceless Christian religious and cultural heritage;
  • appalling violence aimed at terrorising people to force them to surrender or flee.
No cause, and certainly no religion, could justify such barbarity. This constitutes an extremely serious offence against humanity and against God who is its Creator, as Pope Francis has often reminded us.

We cannot forget, however, that Christians and Muslims have been able to live together - although, it's true, with ups and downs - over the centuries, building a culture of coexistence and a civilisation of which they are proud. Moreover, it is on this basis that, in recent years, dialogue between Christians and Muslims has continued and intensified.

The dramatic plight of Christians, Yezidis and other religious and ethnic communities who are minorities in Iraq requires a clear and courageous stance on the part of religious leaders, especially Muslims, of people engaged in interreligious dialogue and of all people of good will. All must be unanimous in condemning unequivocally these crimes and in denouncing the appeal to religion to justify them. What credibility will religions, their followers and their leaders have, otherwise? What credibility could the interreligious dialogue that we have patiently pursued over recent years still have?

Religious leaders are also called to exercise their influence with rulers to end these crimes, to punish those who commit them and to re-establish the rule of law throughout the land, ensuring the return home of those who have been displaced. While recalling the need for an ethical guidance in the management of human societies, these same religious leaders must not fail to stress that the support, funding and arming of terrorism are morally reprehensible.

That said, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue is grateful to all those who have already raised their voices to denounce terrorism, especially that which uses religion to justify it. Let us therefore unite our voices with that of Pope Francis: "May the God of peace stir up in each one of us a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated by violence. Violence is defeated by peace!

Islam Is Not the Only Threat to the West

Antonio Gramsci

About the photo: Antonio Gramsci, co-founder of the Italian Communist Party in 1921, developed the theory of cultural hegemony, according to which the extreme Left has to take power indirectly and in a less visible way, through an ideological and cultural war that it has now de facto won all over the Western world.


I've often said that the West is allowing its own Islamisation - which it could easily stop, since it's in a much stronger position than the Muslim world - and that therefore, if we want to be effective in dealing with the Islamic threat, we must first understand and deal with what has brought Western civilisation to its knees long before Islam could use this predicament for its purposes.

We've got to understand what went wrong in the West's seemingly unstoppable march of progress.

We believe that European countries and those descended from them are the most successful in the world, yet they are just ready not just to accept but to welcome with arms wide open their own Islamisation.

If we are in this situation it’s obviously because we have taken a path which is not so successful and conducive to good results as we illusorily thought we had. There’s not much point in all this “progress” if it has the same causes as our predisposition to civilisational suicide.

Sometimes people respond to my assertion that something is rotten in the West by saying things like this message, which I've just received:
I think what you say is true. However, I also think there are more causes to the rise of militant Islamism in the UK and elsewhere in Europe than just the failings of cultural Marxism and Western liberal democracy. Violence, war, slavery and Jihad are built into the very DNA of the Quaran and no iman would argue with that. I have come to the conclusion that Islam itself is not a religion at all. In fact the Quran defines it as a "system of thought" which is a far more accurate description.
It's impossible to say with any remote appearance of logic - and therefore I've never said - that Islam invasion of the West can occur without Islam. If you think about it for a moment, it wouldn't make any sense even as a linguistic construct.

But what I'm saying is that, if we focus only on Islam, we miss the broader picture.

When Rome was invaded and sacked by the barbarians, that had the possibility to happen only because the Roman Empire was already weakened internally, by moral decadence and the loss of the values that had built its strength. The barbarians merely took advantage of that.

Something similar is happening to Western civilisation. If the West were not in such a state of moral and cultural confusion so serious as to resemble a loss of identity, Islam would be too weak a force to even dream of threatening it.

Let's not forget that, with unrestricted immigration, we opened the doors to the invaders. The perpetrators of 9/11, as an example, received their training in engineering and driving planes in Germany and the US. Without that training, they wouldn't have achieved anything, even after reading the Quran a thousand times. This is just a dramatically emblematic example of what I'm saying.

I'm not saying even for a moment that Islam is not a huge problem, threatening the very existence of our civilisation.

But it's far from being the only problem threatening it.

Even without Islam, the West for a long time has been on a path to destroy itself (witness the two totally unnecessary world wars, that many historians, including Niall Ferguson, call "Western civil wars").

We are conducting this analysis now exactly because we have to find out what went wrong. I anticipate the conclusions of my analysis: abandoning Christianity, losing our moral compass, turning man into God is what went wrong.

What all of us have been taught is different from the truth that we have to re-discover again.

Western civilisation was built on and for many centuries took its nourishment and lifeblood from Christianity. Without it, it will end.

I am personally not a believer, I was an atheist all my adult life until I became agnostic about two years ago. It's not necessary to believe in God to recognise these, which are historical facts. Or to become a follower of Christianity without its theological aspect.

Christianity, like all religions, has a theological and a cultural, ethical and social aspect. We can embrace the latter without embracing the former.